Cantine Benincasa Sagrantino di Montefalco 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Centered upon the lush Apennine Range in the center if the Italian peninsula, Umbria is one of the few completely landlocked regions in Italy. It’s star red grape variety, Sagrantino, finds its mecca around the striking, hilltop village of Montefalco. The resulting wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco, is an age-worthy, brawny, brambly red, bursting with jammy, blackberry fruit and earthy, pine forest aromas. By law this classified wine has to be aged over three years before it can be released from the winery and Sagrantino often needs a good 5-10 more years in bottle before it reaches its peak. Incidentally these wines often fall under the radar in the scene of high-end, age-begging, Italian reds, giving them an almost cult-classic appeal. They are undoubtedly worth the wait!
Rosso di Montefalco, on the other had, is composed mainly of Sangiovese and is a more fruit-driven, quaffable wine to enjoy while waiting for the Sagrantinos to mellow out.
Among its green mountains, perched upon a high cliff in the province of Terni, sits the town of Orvieto. Orvieto, the wine, is a blend of at least 60% Trebbiano in combination with Grechetto, with the possible addition of other local white varieties. Orvieto is the center of Umbria’s white wine production—and anchor of the region’s entire wine scene—producing over two thirds of Umbria’s wine. A great Orvieto will have clean aromas and flavors of green apple, melon and citrus, and have a crisp, mineral-dominant finish.
Known for dark and dense red wines, Sagrantino is a grape unique to Umbria. The best examples come from the clay, sand and limestone soils around the village of Montefalco. Since Sagrantino grapes have a high level of tannins, law requires Sagrantino di Montefalco age at least 30 months before release to market. Sagrantino often benefits from further aging—though look to those labeled Rosso di Montefalco for early drinking Sagrantino-Sangiovese blends. Somm Secret—Sagrantino contains some of the highest polyphenol (antioxidant) levels compared to other red wine grapes.